What Makes Great Customer Service?
We’ve all heard that the customer is always right, and while that might not always be literally true, the spirit of the saying is important. Customers are the lifeblood of a business. So it goes that customer service acts like the immune system that keeps a business healthy.
Most companies understand that customer service is necessary, but few truly put in the proper effort to make their customer service stand out. Those that do enjoy a loyal and supportive customer base. But what are these customer service efforts? There’s a lot that goes into good customer service, and some of it is specific to each company, but here are the universal traits that show up wherever there’s killer customer service.
This seems obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Employees who find themselves in customer service roles should be fully educated in all aspects of their business. You’ll have a much higher successful conversation rate if customers don’t get bounced from person to person. The fewer transfers that get made, the more likely a customer query is to result in a sale.
Nothing aggravates customers more than feeling like a company is brushing them off. Companies should respond as soon as possible to all queries and comments they receive. Even if you don’t have an answer yet, customers should be told that you’re working on it, and that an answer is forthcoming. Some companies accomplish this with e-mails or robo-calls. Depending on your industry and the place your company is in, this may be a good solution, however, keep in mind that the lack of human connection is going to likely make your customers feel less important.
Customers value honesty in a business. When they sense a company is being disingenuous, they are likely to leave and shop elsewhere. Being truthful with customers is vital to successful customer service. And that honesty should come out immediately. If there’s a shipping error or delay, a good company is honest about it up front. A bad company waits for the customer to complain and then hides the reason for the issue. If customers feel that they are valued and trusted, they’re much more likely to come back.
The small business advantage
Local and small businesses don’t have the massive customer bases of their corporate peers and so can often pay more attention to their customers on an individual basis. Even as they continue to grow, a small business like Silicone Depot still maintains that customer service advantage. Their CEO Chris Chasteen and his team of Penni Trisler, Mark Sabatino and Rachel Venegas are able to stand by to help their customers personally. When customer service is provided by the people who founded and run the company, you can count on expertise and accurate information.